Hanukkah Ideas: The Hanukkah Chain
Submitted by TinyCoconut
My first grader Danielle came home from school the other day with a Christmas chain: a chain of red and green links with a poem at the top saying we should hang it up and remove a link each day until we got to the final gold link, when it would be Christmas Day.
Seems innocent, yes? Except it started World War III in our household—our Jewish household.
When Danielle came home with the chain, my husband immediately told her we wouldn't be hanging it up in our house. She started crying, saying how she hates being Jewish because nobody else is Jewish. It made him apoplectic—at the school, not Dani. I would have gotten equally upset had I been there watching her bawl. But I was at my office, so I was able to be calm about it and I declared that I would fix the problem when I got home.
And I did. I took the chain, cut off a bunch of links, crossed out the word Christmas each time it appeared in the poem and wrote in the word Hanukkah. Et voilà! A Hanukkah chain. Talk about creative Hanukkah ideas!
Then I sat down and wrote a passive-aggressive note to the teacher, asking if there were going to be mentions of the chain in class—maybe math lessons asking how many links were left—because I'd had to change Dani's into a Hanukkah chain, and her answers would be different. Don't get me wrong, I know this teacher. She's wonderful! And she's going to "get it" right away, realize her mistake, and I'll get an apology and all will be well.
But all won't really be well because my kid always feels marginalized at this time of year, and even if I understand where that comes from, it's a hard reality to teach a young child.
You want to focus on Christmas in your personal life? You go, girl. You're the majority. You want to focus on it in the classroom? Then I'd appreciate a nod to all the other traditions of the season, including some Hanukkah ideas. I am sick of people assuming that I want to take Christmas into my home. Why is it so hard for other people to grasp this?